Book Reading at Park Slope Brooklyn

2 Thursday ago Sara, Nora and I had a little book reading at Community Book Store in Brooklyn.  It's a very cozy and friendly book store where they always have some nice book evens. And their selection of children books and other art books are fantastic. (here is their link ---> was presenting her new book "My Cold Went On Vacation" And Sara was presenting her new book "Bake Sale" They are both fantastic books you should check them out! And I was reading my first children book which I illustrated " The Hole in the Middle" Here are some photos from the event! By the way I'm wearing a T-shirt and an overall pants which I use to wear in high school. Kind of made me calm like a lucky charm.  It use to make people think I look like Chucky from Child's Play. hahaha now I guess I look adult enough that nobody think so... I hope...

"the Hole in the Middle" Book + Toy release party x Dunny Series 2011 Release Party

Hello Hello!I'm putting up some photos of the night when we had our book "The Hole in The Middle" and it's main character Morgan's limited Toy release party.

For 2 hours Paul and I signed all 200 of the limited Book x Toy figures :-) This is Abby Ranger form Disney Hyperion Book, she is the Editor of this book!!! She is fantastic! And Dunny Series 2011 release party was happening at this SOHO Kidrobot shop in same night! Here is my Laika Dunny. hehe so small in this photo. It was my first time actually meeting my Laika this night! I was super excited. I love the transparent helmet. They did such a great job making this! thank you! My dear dear Friends were there to support! thank you guys for coming. Thank you Paul, Thank you Abby, Thank you KRNY stuff, and thank you everybody for coming to celebrate this book, this means a lot to me!

You can see more photo at

Dear Japan

Flower, Fire, sparkles in the dark night sky.
My favorite thing about Japanese summer. Festivals, shaved strawberry ice, dark chochin lamp, smell of festival food... ahh I can even hear people saying "Tamaya~!!!" to the night sky.
I'm wishing people in North East Japan will be able to have a summer fireworks and festivals one day soon after recovery, I was hoping that and while I was painting this.
This art work will be sold at "Dear Japan" Benefit on June 4th at ACNY gallery in New York.
I hope everybody can come out!

Oh! yes we did make a blog, here you can see amazing artists' works which will be in the benefit as well. check it out---->

Reviews came in for "The Hole In The Middle" book!

Here are some reviews just came in  for the book "The Hole in the Middle" book written by Paul Budnitz and illustrated by me. I'm very excited I wanted to share with you! The book will be out in June. Kirkus Review THE HOLE IN THE MIDDLE Author: Budnitz, Paul Illustrator: Kakeda, Aya This charming story about friendship, a debut effort for both author and illustrator, succeeds with a chatty tone and appealing cartoon-style illustrations. Morgan is a boy with a hole in his midsection; you can see right through it, and it causes an empty feeling no matter what he’s doing or how much he eats. His best friend, Yumi, tries to help by making strawberry cake, taking his mind off it with play and suggesting he just forget about it, but nothing works until, in a reversal of roles, Yumi gets sick and needs his help. Alert readers will notice even before Morgan does that the hole in his tummy gets smaller and smaller the more he focuses on Yumi rather than himself. Morgan and Yumi’s caring friendship is warmly portrayed, and the fact that they help each other solve problems (there are no adults here) encourages young readers’ budding initiative and self-sufficiency. The colorful, cheerful spreads depict all sorts of amusements and feature whimsical details that add to the brief text; it’s fun to try to spot the robot toy and the doll with a flower-shaped face that accompany Morgan and Yumi, respectively, through their adventures.  Focusing on the needs of others is a time-honored solution for those dissatisfied with their own lot in life; here is a motivating parable for contemporary kids. (Picture book. 3-6) — Kirkus Review.

Publishers Weekly The Hole in the Middle Paul Budnitz, illus. by Aya Kakeda. Disney-Hyperion Kidrobot founder Budnitz and graphic artist Kakeda debut with a surreal tale about "a boy named Morgan, who was born with a hole in his middle. The hole was so big, you could see straight through him, from front to back." Morgan suffers from "a strange, empty feeling," and the circular, cookie cutter–shaped gap is large enough that his friend Yumi bats a badminton birdie through it. Budnitz quietly implies the hole is related to an innate self-centeredness (early on, Morgan eats an entire cake Yumi bakes for him, and he sings "all the solos" when they rock out together). In flattened cartoons dancing with whimsical dots, stripes, toadstools, and enormous flowers, Kakeda pictures a glum Morgan whose frown droops even more when he learns Yumi is ill. His mood lifts, though, when he bakes Yumi a get-well cake and visits her. As he devotes himself to cheering a friend, the hole shrinks until "it looked exactly like a belly button." The combination of Kakeda's optimistic pictures and Morgan's odd attribute make this resemble a Charles Burns comic for a junior crowd. Ages 3–6. (June)

Children book "The Hole in the Middle"

Oh Weeeee~! I just got an advanced copy of my children book "The Hole in the Middle" which I collaborated with the talented Paul Budnutz who is not only a great writer he is also a kidrobot founder/designer/filmmaker!!! (paul's website)

We worked really hard and Disney Hyperion Book did such an amazing job designing and printing the book. I loved the satin smooth cover!

The book will come out on June 7.  Advanced orders are available on Amazon.

I'm really excited. If you have small children, or friends who does, please get a copy and support us! (this is actually great for adult,too)   ;-)

"Lace and Pattern" for Art Connects New York Benefit Show

These are for a benefit show at Art Connects New York, a non-profit art organization in SOHO, NY. The show is going to be about 30 artists creating new works altering the pages of books.

It's been 2 weeks since the earthquake in Japan. I was working on these images a week after it happen and I was in a zombie state of mind. I thought about why am I even creating art when I really want to do is help people in Japan...?  I felt so little and powerless... And I started to think about this project. All I wanted to do was to make something beautiful. Beautiful colors, pattern and a tiny bit of humor.  After all I didn't want to make something depressing or sad.  And when I start painting these patterns on the book pages and working with a repetition movement, I started to feel better, this is the healing power of Art??? Maybe it is.

I wish my art can heal somebody oneday, even a small smile or forget about hard time for a one second.  That would be my goal!

The benefit is on April 6th, more info --->

New Art for OhNoDoom Gallery --- Night forest series

I made some new paintings when I was in Tokyo which are going to a show in Chicago. ---> more info see last blog entryThey are quite big paintings, 18 by 24 inches.

Night on flower bed, feeding sunflowers and knitting rabbits whose eyes grow in the dark. The theme is "The Night in ToTai Island." Mysterious things happen when everyone is asleep, did you know???